Author Topic: Mascagni  (Read 2535 times)

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Michel

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Mascagni
« on: August 14, 2007, 01:44:04 PM »
Under-rated and utterly brilliant. Discuss

Rusticana contains some of the most beautiful music; why has classic Bel Canto not got the position in music it once did? :(

Offline yashin

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Re: Mascagni
« Reply #1 on: August 14, 2007, 03:55:34 PM »
Yes, he wrote some terrific operas.

Am thinking in Cavalleria Rusticana of course, L'Amico Fritz and Iris.

The 'cherry duet' from L'Amico alone woule secure a place in greatness in my opinion.  Hearing Tito Schipa sing this is something which stays with you forever. 

Offline yashin

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Re: Mascagni
« Reply #2 on: August 14, 2007, 04:06:59 PM »
A nice version of the 'cherry duet' from the only DVD i know of this opera.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mmYTHRmAbTY

Or the greatest version with Schipa and Favervo

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G5azOKSLuqY

Offline Tsaraslondon

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Re: Mascagni
« Reply #3 on: August 19, 2007, 01:34:07 AM »
Under-rated and utterly brilliant. Discuss

Rusticana contains some of the most beautiful music; why has classic Bel Canto not got the position in music it once did? :(

Cavalleria Rusticana is not Bel Canto. It is verismo and it could be argued that it started the trend towards Can Belto, though not, of course, in a great performance such as the Karajan with Cossotto and Bergonzi, the Serafin with Callas and Di Stefano or the Levine with Scotto and Domingo, to name but three. Bel Canto refers to operas written at the beginning of the nineteenth century, its principal exponents being Rossini, Donizetti and Bellini. Verdi, also wrote very much in the bel canto tradition, but it was he who really changed the course of Italian opera, stretching its traditional forms and giving more importance to the orchestra. You can hear how far he traveled by listening to an early work like Nabucco and following it with Otello.

As an example of verismo Cavalleria Rusticana stands supreme, and is still a mainstay of the repertoire, even if its coupling with that other great verismo opera, Pagliacci is not as prevalent as it once was.

There is some charming music in L'Amico Fritz, but in none of his other operas does he approach the melodic fecundity and dramatic power of Cavalleria Rusticana.
« Last Edit: August 19, 2007, 01:37:46 AM by Tsaraslondon »
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Sean

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Re: Mascagni
« Reply #4 on: August 19, 2007, 05:39:45 AM »
Hi Tsaras, I was going to say the same thing: I had to try another opera after Cavalleria but L'Amico is certainly no comparison and seems to embody even a lack of belief in what he was doing.

Offline zamyrabyrd

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Re: Mascagni
« Reply #5 on: August 19, 2007, 07:12:09 AM »
...why has classic Bel Canto not got the position in music it once did? :(

Good question, presumably not answerable in a few sentences.

Words having more importance or weight than the music associated with them might have something to do with it. The shift in preferences more or less seesaws according to composers and public at a given time.
I think Wagner is more of a musical influence in the direction of verismo rather than Verdi, although Rhinemaidens are hardly real life. A standard three part aria (with or without colorature) written by Handel, Rossini, or Donizetti can have interchangeable words for other operas or uses, the MAIN feature though, being the REPEAT (sometimes multiple) of the music and the words. So it may be said in general that music trumped in Bel Canto except for the quick blah blah of recitativos (according to some writers required a somewhat different vocal technique in the time of Gluck and Mozart).

At least up to and including his middle period Verdi frequently wrote the music BEFORE the words. Singers though who excel in Bel Canto do well in verismo also. But the converse doesn't work, which for me at least proves the necessity for Bel Canto techniques being still valid for operatic singing, no matter what. One might say that verismo elevated recitativos to a more integral function and diminished the importance of arias somewhat. The brevity of "Lucevan le stelle" and "Ovunque il mondo" are cases in point. The shift towards meaning and language in verismo would seem to increase the importance of proper diction, accent and all that.

ZB


« Last Edit: August 19, 2007, 11:47:34 PM by zamyrabyrd »
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